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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Blackstone And The Rendezvous With Death

Blackstone, a Scotland Yard detective, feels that he is somewhat out of his depth when he has to deal with the death of a young aristocrat. Why is Charles's sister the only one who appears to care about him? What has her fiancée got to do with it? What is the involvement of the Russians?

This is an excellent mystery with likeable characters, a vivid Victorian atmosphere and interesting details of London's Little Russia. Sally Spencer also examines the class-consciousness of the age in this well-written novel which is part of the Endeavour Press Virtual History Festival .

Monday, April 18, 2016

Villa Normandie by Kevin Doherty

A French Resistance leader who has to cope with the death of her brother and two rebellious daughters, a priest who tries to mediate between the Nazis and the villagers and an archeologist who never fails in his missions to France. These are the main characters in Doherty's wonderful thriller which captures the tense atmosphere of the run-up to D-Day and the misery of the French villagers with lyrical writing.

Even though this novel is very long, it is always exciting and it even has some added history about archeology which I enjoyed. It is extremely harrowing, however, so be prepared for that.

I was given this free book by Endeavour Oress in exchange for an honest review because I joined their Virtual Historical Festival.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Virtual History Festival

Sign up to Endeavour Publishing's Virtual history Festival and win competitions and enjoy free ebooks, including biographies and historical novels.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Paris Is Always A Good Idea by Nicholas Barreau

After Robert Sherman's mother dies, he is at a loose end. He doesn't want to work as a lawyer for the family firm and he is pretty tired of his nagging girlfriend. When he is offered a job in Paris, he remembers his mother saying that ''Paris is always a good idea'. However, he turns up only to find that his story has been plagiarised!

Rosalie Laurent, a pretty young postcard-shop owner thinks that her financial crisis is over when she illustrates 'The Blue Tiger' but now she is confronted by this mad American who says that the story is stolen!

This is an enchanting, fairy-tale like novel, redolent of the atmosphere of Paris, with lovely characters. I love Nicholas Barreau's books!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Girl's Got To Breathe. The Life of Teresa Wright by Donald Spoto

No one who has seen Teresa Wright's performance as the daughter in The Little Foxes  could ever forget it. She was rewarded for her gift at a young age when she won an Academy Award in her twenties.

Wright was a born actress and showed her talent at school. She had to overcome a dreadful childhood to get anywhere at all, apparently. Her mother was a prostitute and deserted her when she was very little. Her father was largely absent but he sent her to a good school. This trial made Teresa Wright tough which helped her in her career. Surprisingly, it didn't make her bitter and she was a lovely person and extremely kind and mentoring.

This book is an interesting analysis of Wright's career and her personal life. It is recommended for anyone interested in old Hollywood.

I received this book free fromNet Galley in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Mayflowers for November by Marlyn Bromfield

Avis is unhappy with her simple life as a baker's daughter so when she is asked to work at court as the lovely Madge Shelton's maid, she seizes her chance. The trouble is that she has 'the sight' which brings her into contact with Anne Boleyn, a haunting and tragic experience for pretty Avis...

This was well-researched and atmospheric with lots of old English words that  I had to look up, but I found it rather grim and depressing, so I would think twice before reading any more books by this author.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

50 Places in Rome, Florence and Venice Every Woman Should Go: Includes Budget Tips, Online Resourc

Did you know that Michelangelo based the stunning Mary of his beautiful Pieta on his mother or that Raphael was engaged but he kept a mistress who was a baker's daughter from Trastavere? This book is full of such interesting information. It is a great companion for your travels in Italy and a delight to read!

As well as including the famous sights and churches, Susan Van Allen also suggests cafes and restaurants and out-of-town trips. She also tells you how to get to them. She has short lists of books on particular subjects too. I will certainly read some of them!

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.